Friday, December 14, 2012

Reclaiming a bay area cement quarry, another environmental lawsuit

Possibly the completed Santa Clara County environmental impact report (EIR) was not good enough, but probably it was Environmental lawsuits seem to be part of the cost of doing business locally

Silicon Valley Mercury News/Community - Wilson, 12/4/12. "Cupertino:  Open space district files lawsuit against county over Lehigh Cement's EIR."
Lehigh Southwest Cement quarry and factory
"The Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District has filed a lawsuit against Santa Clara County, challenging the reclamation plan for Lehigh Southwest Cement's Permanente Quarry near Cupertino, saying its environmental report was flawed.

Southwest quarry 
"Our deep concerns for the quarry's air and water quality impacts, hazardous materials and related recreational impacts remain unaddressed," district board president Curt Riffle said. "These issues affect us, our visitors and the employees who work and live on our preserve. We have therefore directed staff to seek the assistance of the courts."

In the complaint filed Nov. 29, the open space district states that the environmental impact report failed to analyze and mitigate the project's impacts on air quality, hazardous materials, recreation, groundwater and endangered species. 

The cement and rock quarry in unincorporated Santa Clara County near Cupertino had been working on a reclamation plan with the county's planning office off and on for roughly five years, before the plan was unanimously approved in late June, along with certification of the EIR."   Read article.

Reference - Lehigh cement quarry website.  And, Wikipedia,"The quarry was originally founded by Henry J. Kaiser as the Kaiser Permanente Cement Plant in 1939, taking the name of the business from the Permanente Creek in whose valley it lies." Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District.
North quarry  

Related article - Los Altos Patch, 5/22/12, "Lehigh cement plan in hands of county planning commission."  Commissioners will consider passage of plan to reclaim 639 acres of Lehigh's quarry over the next 20 years. Note: Southwest quarry picture from this Los Altos Patch.  Cupertino Patch, 9/15/11, "Water District says Lehigh quarry pit may play role in flood protection plan." Note: North quarry picture from Cupertino Patch.  The Bay Citizen, 10/5/12  "The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has cited the Lehigh Southwest Cement's Permanente Plant,  the leading supplier of concrete in the Bay Area, for at least 24 pollution violations over the past seven years." Note: Southwest cement's concrete quarry and factory picture from The Bay Citizen.

Posted by Kathy Meeh


Anonymous said...

Are the local hippies and nobees crying about this quarry site being developed also?

todd bray said...

I'm sure advice is being given to those that oppose rancid development of the site, yes.

Anonymous said...

Maybe a local big mouth should go into the quarry office and tell them what not and what to do?

Anonymous said...

oooh! I want to hear more about these rancid developments in the quarry that Todd Bray has opposed.

Anonymous said...

I think quite a few Pacificans would welcome rancid development of anything practically anywhere in Pacifica. Not so sure we've actually elected a Council that feels that way. Might end up with Stone and O'Neill in the minority while the others stall and obstruct while they seek consensus. We've been conned before.

Anonymous said...

maybe I have this wrong, but it is a quarry? rancid and contaminating the environment? I have never understood people like Todd Bray who call themselves environmentalists, but do anything to impeded the reclamation of this property.

Anonymous said...

It's a litter box/dog run. How more rancid can you get? Enviro posturing about protecting it as open space or some kind of park-like area are absurd. Posturing about reclaiming this contaminated area is equally absurd. It's about growth and development and Pacifica needs both. If Council has the power to remove the poison pill public vote requirement for housing then let's see their political will to get that done now! Put up or shut up City Council!